I have been a junior high English teacher for the last eight years. That means that, for the last eight years, Sunday nights have been filled with last minute lesson adjustments and stressing about what the new week would bring. In one sense, tonight is no different. I am most certainly sitting here wondering what this next week will be like, and I am hoping that my plans for the week will succeed. But tonight is also completely different from any other Sunday night I have experienced over the last eight years. Tonight is my last Sunday night before a new school week begins. This is the last time I will sit and wonder if I have planned enough, if I am ready to field the endless questions that inevitably accompany being a middle school teacher. Tonight is the last time I will look forward to hearing what crazy things my students did over the weekend.
Because this coming week is my last week as a teacher.
There. I said it.
I have five more days left in the classroom. It is a strange feeling, to be sure. I have been a teacher since I was 22 years old; I have never done anything else as an adult. It is all I know. But on Friday afternoon, I will walk out the door of my classroom and begin maternity leave and the journey into staying home with my son.
There is so much I will miss. My students. I love my students. They are fun and funny. I love watching them grow up and see the world in new ways. I love TEACHING them and seeing that shift when they finally understand a concept we have been working on. I love introducing them to great literature and modeling how to form and defend an opinion. I love helping them ACCOMPLISH and ACHIEVE.
My content area. I love being an English teacher. I love helping grow a love of reading in my students. I love getting to read and analyze literature for a living.
Being a teacher. I love to teach. I love to share knowledge and watch my students grow. I love that I have been a part of the lives of around 700 students during my tenure as an educator. I love being a safe person for teenagers in a world that is not always safe.
My co-workers. I work with some of the very best people in the teaching business. The teachers on my hall are incredible, and our students are so much better off for it. These are people who started out as colleagues and have become friends, dear ones. I get all mushy and weepy inside when I think about not seeing them every day.
Even though I am so sad to be leaving this part of my life behind, I am overjoyed to be moving on to this next phase. I am so ready to bring Bradley home and be a mom to him day in and day out. I'm ready to be there for him and with him every day. And I know that this choice will make that possible for me.
So, lots of change is on our immediate horizon, but I am so excited to see what's coming. And tonight, I am sorting through a mix of emotions.
Cheers to my last Sunday night as a wondering, worrying teacher.